London Trader alllowed to carry on, but with less noise

The London Trader
The London Trader

AN Old Town pub which made nearby residents’ lives a misery with constant noise and violence has been allowed to keep its licence.

The London Trader in East Beach Street has been given a reprieve by the borough council after its licensing sub committee decided against revoking the pub’s licence.

At a committee meeting, members heard how one resident was reduced to sleeping in an airing cupboard to avoid being disturbed by the noise coming from the pub.

A guest house owner told how his windows had been smashed three times and his guests scared off after their first night of stay there, causing him considerable financial loss.

The committee heard how police had dealt with 16 incidents of violence and disturbances at the premises between July 2010 and August 2011.

On one occasion a woman was taken to hospital with glass shards embedded in her head after she was bottled by another drinker inside. And another drinker was taken to hospital with a fracture to the back of his neck after being knocked unconscious.

Committee members studied CCTV footage of drinkers outside the premises at 11.45pm – long after the tables and chairs should have been cleared at 11pm.

Two residents had written to the committee anonymously for fear of reprisals.

One lived 100 metres from the pub and complained about “extremely loud and continuous thumping, thundering or thuddering bass beat – regardless of the hour.”

The resident listed 38 dates between February and September this year when the pub had caused problems. Another resident said having to listen to the excessively loud music had been “an utter nightmare.”

Principal Environmental Health officer David Bell said licensee Stephen Foot had continually flouted licensing laws and urged the committee to revoke his licence.

He said he had written to Mr Foot on 23 August 2010, 17 February 2011 and 15 April 2011. He stated Mr Foot had emailed him once on April 28 claiming he had tried to get in touch. He also revealed one resident had to sleep in her airing cupboard at night time.

He said: “There have been 16 complaints about noise associated with the London Trader in the last 12 months.

“Mr Foot does not seem to have had any regard to the letters sent to him.

“Mr Foot is showing a flagrant disregard for the conditions attached to his licence and the impact on surrounding residents and businesses and is doing nothing to promote the Prevention of Public Nuisance.”

The committee also heard evidence from Dick Edwards,chairman of Hastings Old Town Residents Association.

He said: “Members are concerned about the growing disorder either in or just outside the pub. The presence of the Police on so many occasions is worrying. Violent behaviour fuelled by alcohol has become an issue.”

Mr Foot withdrew from the hearing after the committee declined to adjourn the hearing to a later date to allow his legal team to consider witness statement they claim were served at late notice.

After 40 minutes of deliberation, committee chairman, councillor Alan Roberts, declared it would not be revoking the pub’s licence.

The committee instead ordered the following regulations: no live music or dancing, recorded music to be played in the background, hours of business from 9am to 11.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10.pm on Sunday, no use of outside seating or tables after 11pm, noise levels must be reasonable, noise notices erected inside and front door staff should be in place from 9pm until close on Fridays and from 12pm until close on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.